Sunday, June 1, 2014

Masterpiece Essay

      When I first signed up for AP English Literature  and Composition I had no idea what to expect. Will this be one of those difficult classes or will it be easy and laid back? I had heard different stories the previous year about some students stressing out over numerous assigned essays while others were ecstatic about creating their course blog. I was also briefly told about the whole open source learning concept, something I had never even heard of before. On top of all this I was instructed to create a course blog in which I would post all of my assignments on. To say I was a little bit nervous would be a great understatement!
      Walking into class on the first day of school I felt just like Suyuan Woo from The Joy Luck Club did when she arrived to America; apprehensive and lost. I was still very hesitant over the whole open source learning concept but, to my surprise, I started to find myself loving everything about it. As a student, I was given a lot of trust with things like homework, studying, and quizzes which is very rare for a teacher to give right away. Because of this trust, I felt obligated to really work hard throughout the year in order to honor it. When we started to really use our blogs I felt like John the Savage from Brave New World. Just as John was excited to visit and learn about the new world, I was excited to start personalizing and posting on my blog. Though the course blogs were an amazing aspect of this class, I would have to say the final masterpieces were my favorite thing both to create and hear about in this class overall. I remember how funny it was when everybody found out that we were not going to be creating senior scrapbooks, but instead, creating something amazing and following our individual passions. Everybody was so shocked to hear about this and after the idea settled in, everyone became confused and scared about the idea of not having a set rubric to follow. Overall, I am very proud of my final masterpiece and how it turned out. I am also very proud over my blog and feel accomplished just as Beowolf did when he saved the Danes from the demon Grendel.
     A big theme not only in the masterpiece presentations, but also the class as a whole, was passion. For example, Allyson Brown, Daniel Rucker, Edmond Yi, and Bianca Ramirez and Ashley Hong all talked about their fields of interest they wanted to pursue. Allyson presented her prezi with a lot of enthusiasm. You could tell she was not only very excited to share her topic of genetics, but also that she knew what she was talking about and teaching. Unfortunately, she lost track of time and was unable to fully finish her presentation which shows just how much she got into her project. Daniel also ran into this problem. Even though he presented his project with absolutely no powerpoints or prezis or notecards, he talked all the way until the end of class. Edmond's passion was shown throughout his writing. Even though this was a project that would be graded, Edmond is still continuing to write and perfect his novel even after he graduates from school. Bianca and Ashley also plan to continue creating and sharing their comic strips. They shared their blog of all the comic strips they created and while they were reading and explaining some, you could tell how proud they were of them. Out of all the masterpieces, I believe Rudy Valentine's, Jasmine Beebe's, and Lauren Lascina's carried the most passion. They worked really hard at creating a music festival to put on in our community park and even though this first attempt failed, they are not giving up. Putting on a festival is a huge task but they didn't let that stop them as they immediately started planning and raising money. Even though they weren't able to get a festival together before graduation, they are still trying to get one together in the future as they believe this could be something huge.
     In conclusion, this course was definitely an adventure I will never forget. Though it was challenging and confusing at times, there was always someone to fall back on and help you out. By the end of my journey I believe I was able to reconnect with my own passion. I was able to do this by connecting what we were learning about in class to my own life instead of just memorizing a lot of information I need to know for the next test. Instead, I was able to study aspects of my own career and utilize it into my work such as my masterpiece. When I am older, I hope to start my own business whether it's a fashion boutique or a blog such as the one I made as my masterpiece. I was able to study different marketing techniques on how to get your business known to others and how to make it presentable and attractive to the eye. In this course, I've learned a lot about how to collaborate effectively with my peers, how to create and manage my own website or blog, and how to make connections with potential mentors and experts. Overall, I am so glad I signed up for this course as I'm walking out of it as a new person with an abundance amount of new, helpful information.

Friday, May 2, 2014

At Least Two Poetry Essays

(I'll be allowing myself only 40 minutes for each essay as if it were a real AP essay exam.)

Essay #1: Bright Star by John Keats

     The poem "Bright Star" by John Keats starts off with a man talking to a star. It becomes obvious he is envious of the star through his tone and initially seems to want to physically trade places with it and become a star himself. Later on, however, it seems he is just fond of the characteristics the star holds.
     During the beginning of the poem it is noticeable the man is passionate about the star. "Would I were stedfast as thou art". Starting off with this statement in the first line of the poem gives the readers a sense that the man is a traveler who wishes he could settle down in one place just as the star is. The man then goes on to explain the characteristics of the star he is fond of and does this with many literary techniques such as imagery and diction. "The moving waters at their priestlike task". By personifying the waters and then stating they go off into their "priestlike task" sets a very calm, tranquil mood to the poem.
     There is a shift in the poem on line nine. In this shift the readers are informed the man does not actually want to physically be a star. His focus changes from his jealousy of the star to his passionate feelings about his girlfriend. He wants to stay forever in this moment and stop time so he stay with his girlfriend. "And so live ever-or else swoon to death."  This statement supports this reasoning as the man would rather die with his love than walk away.
     In conclusion, this poem is about a man who longs for a steady life, just like a star, with his girlfriend. All throughout the poem his love for the moment he is in is evident through his words which helps to reinforce the theme of the poem; love.

Essay #2: We'll go no more a-roving by Lord Byron

     The poem "We'll go no more a-roving" by Lord Byron tells of a man coming to a realization that he is growing old. No longer is he able to do the things he use to do when he was younger though he really wishes he could.
     In the first stanza of the poem, a depressed mood is set. The readers are informed that the man can't go out anymore during the nighttime. "Though the heart be still as loving." An appeal to pathos here brings out the emotion in readers and they are able to get a sense that the man still yearns to go out and live his nighttime life. His attitude is one of bitter resignation as he explains that the moon is giving off light so he feels he needs to go out and do something.
     A shift in the poem begins at the second stanza. Here we learn the reason why the man can't continue living his nighttime life. "For the sword outwears its sheath, and the soul wears out the breast." The man is comparing his old age to a sword by explaining that swords eventually wear themselves out just as his body is now growing old. His use of diction also helps to show his love for the night as he talks about his soul fading away. In the third stanza he repeats to himself again that he can't go out which displays how hard it is for him to grasp the fact he is getting old.
     In conclusion, this poem is about a man growing old. The theme of death and love is clear throughout the whole entire poem as one can really feel the man's need to go out and live his life. He loved his young life and states that "the night was made for loving". However, he does realizes that it is time for him to settle down and he does it in a bitter surrender.


My group and I discussed the poems over a group text message. We each talked about what we individually got out of the poems and compared them. We also thought it would be helpful to send out pictures of our grids to compare. This really helped to see how we each viewed the poems and if we had different ideas about what the poems were about, we had a quick discussion to see if we could all get on the same page. Hopefully this will benefit us when writing our essays.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


TPCASTT: Poem Analysis

Title of poem means
Paraphrase parts of the poem
Connotation of some of the words (changing literal meaning to implied or associated values)
Attitude of the author, characters or yourself
Shift identify and explain
Title revisited (any new insights on meaning or significance of title?)

 Bright Star by John Keats
T-literally a star in the sky he is talking to
P- lying with his girlfriend wishing he could be like the star unchanging and live forever
C-"were steadfast as thou art" he wishes he was like the star in the sense of not moving... maybe a traveler?
A-jealousy towards the star
S- first stanza he wants to be like the star, second stanza he doesn't... "To feel..." he doesn't want to be the star but stay in the moment with his girlfriend forever
T- he wishes he were like the star (steadfast, not moving) and live forever
T- love: he wishes he could live forever like the star; admires it

 Hope by Emily Dickenson
T- whole poem talking about hope as a bird... personification
P-hope is strongest during dark times... never asks for anything though all it does is give
C- sings without the words
A-loving, admirable
S-last two stanzas she talks about hope through her eyes and how its affected her
T- no changes
T-hope endures through overwhelming circumstances

 We'll go no more a-roving by Lord Byron
T- time to settle down?
P- he needs to stop going out during the night time... getting older... needs to wake up
C-"still as loving" he really wants to go out but he shouldn't.... "sword outwears its sheath" he's getting old he needs to stop messing around
A- depressed; bitter resignation
S- shift after first stanza and again after second... first and last seem to be repeating the same meaning... second stanza gives reason for why he needs to stop roaming around
T- needs to stop messing around and going out at night because he's getting old
T- love: he really loves the night..... death: second stanza saying how he is getting old
(opens with anaphora)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seventh Reading

Overall, I have to say that reading poetry out loud really does help! When I read the first poem in my head I was so confused but when I read it the second time out loud it was much clearer!

1) Bright Star by John Keats
Out of the three poems, I found this one to be the most difficult. After reading it seven times I noticed the rhyming schemes but I'm still having a bit of trouble with the meaning of the poem.

2) Hope by Emily Dickenson
This was my favorite! During the first reading I picked up on the rhyming scheme. By about the fifth reading I started to understand the poem a little more. In the first and second stanza Dickenson introduces hope while in the last stanza she shares her experience with hope.

3) We'll go no more a-roving by Lord Byron
 I picked up the rhyming scheme on the second reading. The meaning of the poem I picked up after the seventh reading was that we should rest at night and give ourselves a break even if it's still bright outside and we aren't tired.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Macbeth Act 5 Notes

  • A doctor and gentlewoman discuss Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking habits
  • Lady Macbeth comes in with a candle in her hand (sleepwalking) talking about the murders of Lady Macduff and Banquo saying she has blood on her hands that won't wash off
  • Scottish leaders discuss the military situation of the English army approaching led by Malcolm and the Scottish army meeting to join forces near Birnam Wood
  • Lennox and other lords call Macbeth a "tyrant" and say he has fortified Dunsinane Castle and is making military preparations in a mad rage
  • Macbeth comes into hall of Dunsinane saying he is not scared of the English or Malcolm army because "none of woman born" can harm him 
  • His servant Seyton confirms an army of 10,000 Englishmen are approaching and Macbeth puts on his armor even though the battle isn't happening
  • the doctor tells him Lady Macbeth is kept from rest by "thick-coming fancies" and Macbeth tells him to cure her
  • Malcolm talks with English lord Siward and his officers about Macbeth's plan to defend the castle
  • They decide each soldier cut down a bough of forest and carry it in front of them so their numbers are hidden
  • Macbeth orders banners be hung and says his castle will repel the enemy
  • Seyton tells Macbeth the queen is dead and Macbeth says the tomorrow soliloquy
  • a messanger says the trees of Birnam Wood are approaching Dunsinane
  • the prophecy says Macbeth could not die until Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane and he says he is tired of the sun and will at least die fighting
  • Macbeth battles vigorously because no man born of woman can harm him and he kills Lord Siward's son
  • Macduff can't find Macbeth whom he wants to kill himself
  • Malcolm and Siward emerge and enter castle
  • Macbeth and Macduff are battling and Macbeth says he is invincible because of the witches' prophecy
  • Macduff says he was not woman born because his mother's womb was ripped and Macbeth is scared but says he will not surrender "to kiss the ground before young Malcolm's feed/ And to be baited with rabble's curse'
  • Malcolm and Siward walk the castle they have captured
  • Ross tells Siward his son is dead
  • Macduff enters with Macbeth's head and says Malcolm is King of Scotland
  • Malcolm says all his thanes will be made earls  and will be first such lords in Scottish history
  • Malcolm calls all those around his friends and invites them to see him crowned at Scone while cursing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth